from the resign:-to-sign-and-sign-again? dept.
Richard M. Stallman Resigns as FSF President and from its Board of Directors
https://www.fsf.org/news/richard-m-stallman-resigns (emphasis from original retained):
On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of
the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board
The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning
immediately. Further details of the search will be published on
For questions, contact FSF executive director John Sullivan at
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 license (or later version) — Why this license?
Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Resigns from MIT Over Epstein Comments
Famed free software advocate and computer scientist Richard Stallman has resigned from MIT, according to an email he published online. The resignation comes after Stallman made comments about victims of child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, including that the victims went along with the abuse willingly.
"I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT," Stallman wrote in the email, referring to MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. "I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations."
[...] Last week, Motherboard published the full email thread in which Stallman wrote that the "most plausible scenario" is that Epstein's underage victims in his campaign of trafficking were "entirely willing." Stallman also argued about the definition of "rape" and whether the term applies to the victims.
[Ed.'s note - just because Vice say things in the above blockquote does not mean that SoylentNews or its editors consider it a demonstrably provable representation of reality. We're just reporting that they are reporting, nothing more. At least this Ed. finds out-of-context quoting of short inflamatory phrases to be particularly disingenuous, and perhaps even a warning sign that manipulation of a quote has taking place. -- FP.]
Richard Stallman's return to the Free Software Foundation's board of directors has drawn condemnation from many people in the free software community. An open letter signed by hundreds of people today called for Stallman to be removed again and for the FSF's entire board to resign.
The open letter said:
Richard M. Stallman, frequently known as RMS, has been a dangerous force in the free software community for a long time. He has shown himself to be misogynist, ableist, and transphobic, among other serious accusations of impropriety. These sorts of beliefs have no place in the free software, digital rights, and tech communities. With his recent reinstatement to the Board of Directors of the Free Software Foundation, we call for the entire Board of the FSF to step down and for RMS to be removed from all leadership positions.
Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig is suing The New York Times over an interview about the MIT Media Lab accepting money from sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Lessig's defamation suit covers a September 2019 article titled "A Harvard Professor Doubles Down: If You Take Epstein's Money, Do It in Secret." He claims the headline misrepresents his interview, where he condemns the donation, but says that "if you're going to take the money, you damn well better make it anonymous."
Lessig is the founder of Creative Commons and a longtime policy activist; he once ran for president on the promise to pass a single anti-corruption law and then resign. He's also a friend of former MIT Media Lab president Joichi Ito. When Ito admitted last year to secretly receiving around $800,000 from Epstein, Lessig signed a supportive letter and argued that accepting secret donations was better than publicly laundering a criminal's reputation — although he said taking Epstein's money at all was wrong in retrospect.
Times reporter Nellie Bowles interviewed Lessig about the donations and appeared unimpressed by his reasoning. "It is hard to defend soliciting donations from the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law professor, has been trying," she wrote in the article's opening paragraph. Lessig quickly dubbed the piece "clickbait defamation" by the Times. Now, he's turned that accusation into an actual defamation complaint and launched it with a full-fledged multimedia campaign, including a website called "Lessig v. Clickbait Defamation" and a related podcast.
Lawrence Lessig Considering US Presidential Bid
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Jeffrey Epstein Hoped to Seed Human Race with his DNA
Richard M. Stallman Resigns
Richard Stallman Deserved to be Fired, Says Fired GNU Hurd Maintainer
Richard M Stallman, founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), announced at the organisation's LibrePlanet virtual event that he has rejoined the board and does not intend to resign again.
Stallman spoke at the event yesterday on the subject of unjust computing – covering locked-down operating systems, non-free client software, user-restricting app stores, and more.
Before the talk he stated: "I have an announcement to make. I'm now on the Free Software Foundation Board of Directors once again. We were working on a video to announce this with, but that turned out to be difficult, we didn't have experience doing that sort of thing so it didn't get finished but here is the announcement. Some of you will be happy at this, and some might be disappointed, but who knows? In any case, that's how it is, and I'm not planning to resign a second time."
Ars Technica further notes: